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Basics o f News W r i t i n g

W h a t is News Writing?

News writing gives the reader


information that will have an impact on
some w a y.
It usually flows from most important to
least important.
“What is news? It is information only.” –Walter
Cronkite, former CBS News anchor
Structures of NewsStory

 Headline
Structuresof NewsStory

 Byline
Structuresof NewsStory

 Lead
Structuresof NewsStory

 Body (Details)
NewsWriting

Inverted Pyramid
 The Inverted
Most interesting or Pyramid of news
most important suggests that news
Least
be told in order of
interesting most interesting or
or least
important important to least
interesting or
important
NewsWriting

 Jack and Jill went up


the hill to fetch a pail of
water.
vs.
 Jack suffered a skull
fracture and Jill is in
serious condition after
the pair tumbled down a
hill during their ritual
water-carrying chores
yesterday.
NewsWriting

 The Newark Valley boys’


baseball squad played a
game yesterday
afternoon.
vs.
 The Newark Valley boys’
baseball squad beat
Candor at home
yesterday in a thrilling
extra-inning showdown
between neighboring
rivals.
NewsWriting

Most Important
or Interesting

Least Important
or Interesting
Lead Writing

 Most journalists
think the news lead
is the most
important part of the
news story. It is an
art work of concise
information that
captures the gist of
a news story in one
or two sentences.
Purposesof LEAD

To summarize the story.


To arouse the interest of the readers.
Lead Writing

 1. Keep leads short. Those with 35 words


or less are preferred.
 2. Leads limited to one or two sentences
are preferred.
 3. Avoid starting leads with "when" or
"where" unless the time or place is
unusual. Most leads start with "who" or
"what."
Lead Writing
4. Avoid beginning leads with "there" or
"this."
5. In leads about future events, the
time, day (date) and place usually go at
the end of the paragraph.
6. Use quote and question leads
sparingly.
Lead Writing

7. In leads about past events, the day


(date) of the event usually appears
before or after the verb. Sometimes the
day (date) comes at the end of the first
sentence or the paragraph if it is a one-
sentence lead.
8. The first five to "what happened"
makes a better story than the fact it did.
Lead Writing

 Who? — Dr. Maria Elsa Ilona Bulado and Justine


Bulado presented a research paper in the 12th
Hawaii International Conference on Social
Sciences in Honolulu, Hawaii, May 29-June 1. The
two are faculty members of NORSU main
campus.

 What? — Wearing morally offensive attire was


banned in Negros Oriental State University by the
University Security Management Office (USMO)
effective June 10.
Lead Writing

 Where? — In  When? — Last


Newark Valley last night, the Newark
night, the board of Valley Board of
education passed a Education passed a
resolution to ban the resolution banning
wearing of hats in all hat wearing in all
school district school district
buildings. buildings.
Lead Writing

 How? — By a 6-1 margin last night, the Newark


Valley Board of Education passed a resolution
banning hat wearing in all school district
buildings.
 Why? — To provide Norsunians easier access to
web, the Negros Oriental State University
-Communication and Information System Office
(NORSU-CISO) will implement its Wireless
Fidelity (WiFi) Connectivity Project in MC I and II
in the second semester of SY 2013-2014.
BodyConstructionand
Organization
The body of the story explains or
clarifies features found in the lead or
add features not found in the lead.
The body of the story provides details
and background
BodyConstructionand
Organization
 Keep paragraphs short. Those limited to 60 words
or less or no longer than 10 typeset lines are
preferred.
 Paragraphs limited to one to three sentences are
preferred.
 Each paragraph should contain only one idea.
 Remember short paragraphs encourage readers to
continue reading.
 Use simple words. Don’t let readers look for
dictionary.
BodyConstructionand
Organization
 Make sure information introduced or outlined in the
lead is covered in the same order in the body of the
story.
 Avoid introducing new information at the end of a
story. All aspects of a story should usually be
introduced or outlined in the first few paragraphs.
 Transitions are necessary to show the reader that
the writer has a sense of direction. A word, phrase,
sentence or paragraph can move the reader from
one thought to another.
BodyConstructionand
Organization

 Add attributions of prominent persons


 Add faculty and students’ reactions
 Arrange your details in logical order
 Before using the acronym of the word or
phrase, elaborate it first on the previous
sentences
 In attribution, use the position of the person
(other titles may be omitted)
BodyConstructionand
Organization
Note:
When you want to incorporate
information which is not directly
connected to the main story, but is
related, use conjunctive words or
conjunctive phrase such as meanwhile,
in a related development, in this light,
etc.
Transition/Quote Formula

and so on…until the story is complete


Direct Quotes

 Should be linked to the paragraph before them. The


quote should elaborate on the previous paragraph.
Example:
Because of an anonymous $25,000 donation,
students who ride a school bus to and from school
will have access to the Internet during their commute
starting March 1.
“Giving free Wi-Fi to our students will enable them to
do research, read the news or even watch
educational videos each day,” Superintendent Kelli
Putman said.
Direct Quotes

 Should not repeat the transition/lead before them.

Example:
Principal Jeanette Rother said that several teachers
have been reluctant to give assignments that require
Internet access.
“Several of our teachers have been hesitant about
giving homework assignments that would require the
Internet,” Rother said.
Direct Quotes

 Can be longer than one sentence.


 Should have attribution after the first sentence of
the quote.
 Do not place two people’s direct quotes next to
each other without a transition.
 Attribution should be: Noun then verb.
Example:
Correct - senior Bob Rodriguez said.
Incorrect - said senior Bob Rodriguez.
(unless you have an unusually long title)
Transitions

 VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. Hold the story together.


Link the paragraphs together.
 Can be fact, indirect quote or a partial quote.
For example - FACT TRANSITION:
(Lead) President Barack Obama will speak on Friday to
seniors about getting involved in community service work.
(Direct Quote)“Seniors will learn a lot about duty and
commitment when they hear President Obama,” Principal
Ike Sumter said. “We are so excited that he agreed to
come.”
(Fact Transition) Before becoming president, Obama
worked as a community organizer in Chicago.
Transitions

 Can be fact, indirect quote or a partial quote.


For example - INDIRECT QUOTE TRANSITION:
(Lead) President Barack Obama will speak on Friday to
seniors about getting involved in community service work.
(Direct Quote)“Seniors will learn a lot about duty and
commitment when they hear President Obama,” Principal
Ike Sumter said. “We are so excited that he agreed to
come.”
(IQ Transition) President Obama said he believes
community service is more important than college in
building character.
Transitions

 Can be fact, indirect quote or a partial quote.


For example - PARTIAL QUOTE TRANSITION:
(Lead) President Barack Obama will speak on Friday to
seniors about getting involved in community service work.
(Direct Quote)“Seniors will learn a lot about duty and
commitment when they hear President Obama,” Principal
Ike Sumter said. “We are so excited that he agreed to
come.”
(PQ Transition) President Obama said he believes
community service is “extremely valuable lesson” for every
teen to have.
Transitions

 Use transitional words to help with the flow (as


needed): After all, Also, Finally, In addition,
However, Otherwise, Then

For example:
In addition to speaking about community service,
Obama plans to talk to students about the importance
of voting.
NOTE: BE SURE YOU USE THE APPROPRITE
TRANSITIONAL WORD.
Transitions

 Use parts of the direct quotes to create the


transition. And then use the rest of the quote as
direct quote.
Neededto avoid
 Editorializing - Keep your opinion out of the story.
 Using first and second person - Keep yourself out of
the story. Common error: “our school”.
 Messy handwriting, poor grammar and spelling
 Too long paragraphs
 Misspelling names in the story
 Trying to use all of the information
Editing

 Eliminate the word "that" whenever possible.


 Eliminate the "be" verb. Write "she will resign"
instead of "she will be resigning. "Write in future
tense (will) instead of future progressive tense (will
be "ing").
 Avoid the contractions of he'd and they'd. "He'd"
can mean both "he had" and "he would," and
"they'd" can mean both "they had" and "they
would."
Editing

 Always double-check the spelling of


names.
 Make sure numbers match the items
listed.
 Make sure "only" is placed properly in a
sentence. The location of "only" can
change the meaning of a sentence.
Editing

 Read the story out loud to catch awkward


sentence constructions.
 Write. Rewrite. Revise. Rewrite. Revise.
Edit. Revise. Edit. Edit. The first version of
a story is NOT good enough to go into
print. Someone once said THERE IS NO
GREAT WRITING, ONLY GREAT
REWRITING.
Grammar

 When you use a pronoun to refer to a team or a


group, the proper pronoun to use is "its," NOT they.
Example: The team wants to improve its record.
 Make sure verbs or other phrases are "parallel" or
the same in structure when they appear in stories
or list.
 Examples: He likes gardening, fishing and
hunting. The fire killed at least 12 persons, injured
60 more and forced scores of residents to leap
from windows.
Grammar

 Use THIRD PERSON (she, he, it, its, her, hers,


him, his, they, them, their, theirs) in news stories.
Only on rare occasions do you use first person (I,
mine, we, our, ours) or second person (you, your,
yours) in news stories.
 Use active voice vs. passive voice. The passive
voice is formed by using some form of the verb
"be" with the past participle of an action verb: is
shot, was shot, has been shot, had been shot,
may be shot, will be shot.
Otherpointsto consider

 Avoid using the same word twice in a sentence.


 Count the words in a story's sentences. Sentence
length should vary. Stories become dull when
sentences are all the same length.
 Quotation marks go outside commas (,") and periods
(."). They go inside semicolons (";) and colons (":).
 You can use TRANSITION WORDS to show
coherence from one paragraph to another. Examples:
meanwhile, on the other hand, moreover
Headline Writing

A headline is an abstract sentence


A headline will determine the angle of
the story
Usually it is only five to ten words
It is a complete thought
It has a subject and a verb, and often
an object
Headline Writing

 Be specific, direct and to the point.


 Write headlines, not titles. A headline must
state a benefit to the target audience.
Headline Writing

Functions of Headline:
To attract readers
To tell the story (in summary)
Headline Writing

 Limit your headline to maximum of 10 words


 Use “,” instead of the word “and”
 Use the present tense of the verb
 Use the shortest words possible:
cop-policeman vs-against
nab-arrest stude-student
up-increase join-participate
down-decrease prexy-president
Headline Writing

 Use historical present tense if the verb is


in the active verb
Wrong: Reyes topped editorial tilt
Correct: Reyes tops editorial tilt
 Avoid helping verb if the verb is in the
passive verb
Wrong: Drug pushers are nabbed
Correct: Drug pushers nabbed
Headline Writing

Use infinitive verb for future event:


Wrong: NORSU will enjoy WiFi connectivity
Correct: NORSU to enjoy WiFi connectivity
Do not use a period at the end of the headline
Omit the articles ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’
Use single quotes (‘’) instead of double quotes (“”)
 Provide the source of the quote at the end of the
headline
Ex: Crackdown on errant bus firms–Enrile
Headline Writing

 Do not use a person’s surname unless he/she is


prominent, use common noun instead
Wrong: Repe wins nat’l painting tilt
Correct: NORSU stude wins nat’l painting tilt
Use specific verb instead of generalities
Wrong: Trader killed
Better: Trader stabbed to death
Just report facts; do not editorialize
Wrong: Pnoy gives inspiring talk
(The word “inspiring’ is an opinion)
1) to attract readers
2) to tell the story (in a summary)
3) to add variety of type (to break
monotony in a sea of type)
4) to identify personality of newspaper
(use of font/style of letters)
5) to index/grade the news (big type for
important news; small type for less
important)
1. First, read the story for general
meaning.
2. Clues to the headline are usually in
the lead.
 What happened?
 Who did what?
 How did it happen?
3.Have a subject and a verb. Avoid
starting with a verb; the headline
might sound as if it were giving
orders.
Wrong: Revise money mart guidelines
Correct: Central Bank revises money
mart guidelines
4.Use the historical present tense if
the verb is in the active voice.
Wrong: Delgado topped editorial tilt
Correct: Delgado tops editorial tilt
5.Omit the helping verb if the verb is
in the passive voice. Only the past
participle is retained.
Wrong: Drug pushers are nabbed
Correct: Drug pushers nabbed
6.Use the infinitive for future events.
Wrong: City Hall will punish anti-
squatting drive
Correct: City Hall to punish anti-
squatting drive
7. Do not use a period at the end of
the headline.
8. Omit articles (a, an, the).
Wrong: A fire hits Tondo slum area
Correct: Fire hits Tondo slum area
Use a comma instead of
10.

“and” in writing
headlines.
Delays, confusion bug
Asiad Lacson, Trillanes
no show at SONA
11. Use semicolon to separate
sentences.
Gina Lopez heads Pasig body;
Noy swears in 35 other execs
12. Use the punctuation marks
(especially the exclamation point)
sparingly.
13. Use single quotes (‘) in headlines
instead of double quotes (“).
14. Always give the source of a quote.
Quotation marks are not needed, a
dash or a colon will serve the
purpose.
Crackdown on errant bus firms – Enrile
Enrile: Crackdown on errant bus firms
15. Usethe down-style – only the first
word and proper nouns are
capitalized, unless otherwise
indicated. This is more readable
because people are used to reading
sentences this way.
Ex. Faculty honors Nuñez
Use only widely
16.

known
abbreviations.
a. ANHS intensifies
CP ban
b. PH ranks first in
SEA games tally
17. Don‟t
use names unless the
person is well known, use
common nouns instead.
Wrong: Santos electrocuted
Correct: Carpenter electrocuted
19. Just report the facts; do not
editorialize.
Wrong: Noy gives inspiring talks
(The word “inspiring” is just your
opinion.)
20. Be positive. Don't use negatives in
headlines. They weaken not only
the headlines but also the stories.
18. Usespecific terms instead of
generalities
Example: Trader killed
Better: Trader stabbed to death
19. Just report the facts; do not
editorialize.
Wrong: Noy gives inspiring talks
(The word “inspiring” is just your
opinion.)
20. Be positive. Don't use negatives in
headlines. They weaken not only
the headlines but also the stories.
Articles
1. ANHS beefs up security measures hired new security
personnels
2. Kap Fe Beato donates 1k uniform for grade 7 studes
3. 2 SHS teachers relocates to Sinalhan Integrated HS
4. ANHS enrolment dips record low amid opening of
Sinalhan HS
5. ANHS suspends Acquaintance Party
6. Poll says: ANHS studes disapproves No Assignment
Policy
7. ROTC not suitable for SHS – faculty
8. ANHS sets alarm on increasing cases of Dengue among
students
9. Students, faculty complains over sub standard SHS
building facilities
10. SHS launch new English Club
Articles
1. ANHS studes join first Sta Rosa Pride March
2. Teachers want pageant handlers banned
3. SHS studes complain over sub standard arm chairs
4. DepEd Sta Rosa urges schools to stop organizing
pageants
5. Mayor Arlene promises sementuhin ang front area of
ANHS
6. Aplaya Senior High prepares students to be job ready
7. Disability is not a hindrance to happiness – Zemory
8. Standing tall with one feet – Ronnel
9. Beating Psoriasis – Karen Budukin
10. It’s never too late to learn – ALS graduate
11. Student Parents
12. Laro ng Lahi
13. ANHS represents Sta Rosa in Regional Technolympics
T H A N K YOU!!!
“There is no great writing; only great rewriting.”
-Nick Joaquin


Sources:
***‘Hot 100’ News Writing Tips of Sheryl Swingley
***News Writing PPT Presentation by Romulo Amarado